New York Assault on a Judge
Assault is the crime of using violence against another person and as a result injuring that person. When you assault certain officials such as judges, you will face a more serious assault charge and if convicted a harsher penalty than if you assaulted someone who is not an official. In fact, if you are charged with assaulting a judge, the Office of the District Attorney will work hard to prosecute and convict you. However, the prosecutors are not always right. Just because you have been accused does not mean that you should be convicted. If you are in need of a criminal lawyer because you have been charged with assault on a judge it is important that you do not delay in contacting an experienced New York Assault on a Judge Lawyer who will explain to you your legal options and who will work hard to make sure that you are treated fairly and that your case is resolved in the best possible manner given the facts. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have decades of experience representing clients who have been charged with assault and other serious crimes such as domestic violence, DWI, grand larceny, and sex crimes. Find out what we can do for you by contacting us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.Elements of assault on a judge
Assault on a judge involves intentionally causing serious physical injury to a judge and preventing the judge from performing his or her official duties. N.Y. Pen. Law § 120.09. It is a class C felony. For the purposes of this offense a judge is defined as a judge of a court of record or a justice court. Examples of justice courts include town or village courts, traffic courts, or criminal courts. In order to face this charge the injury that that judge suffers would not be just any physical injury. The injury must be an injury that is so serious that it creates a substantial risk of death, cause death, cause protracted disfigurement or impairment of health, or cause loss of a bodily organ. N.Y. Pen. Law § 10.00(10) . For example, if you are in court and are somehow able to punch the judge in the face causing a bruise, you would not be charged with assault on a judge. However, if you manage to jump the judge and repeatedly punch him causing a severe brain injury, you would be charged with assault on a judge.Defenses to an assault on a judge charge
Type of injury. In an effort to charge you with assault on a judge and not a less serious crime, the prosecutor may attempt to exaggerate the extent of the injuries to the judge. However, it will not be enough for the victim to testify that that injury was painful or for the prosecutor to show photographs of a bruise. The court would require more convincing evidence that the victim suffered injuries that were so severe that they were life-threatening. Examples of injuries that a court would probably consider serious include a traumatic brain injury, a gunshot wound that damaged a major organ, or a knife wound that left a noticeable, permanent scar. On the other hand, if the knife wound did not cause serious internal injury and did not leave a permanent scar, you could make a convincing argument that such an injury does meet the statutory definition of "serious physical injury."Consequences of an assault on a judge conviction
If you are convicted of assault on a judge your sentence will include prison, payment of fines, fees, and restitution, and post-release supervision.Prison
Because it is both a class C felony and also classified as a violent felony the judge will not have the flexibility of sentencing you to probation. The actual length of your prison sentence will depend on your prior criminal record. Based on your criminal record, you will be labeled as someone who has no prior convictions, someone who is a non-violent predicate offender, someone who is a violent predicate offender, or someone who is a persistent felony offender.
- Prior convictions: Prior convictions include felony convictions within the last 10 years.
- Non-violent predicate: A non-violent felony conviction within the last 10 years.
- Violent predicate: A violent felony conviction within the last 10 years.
- Persistent felony offender: At least 2 prior felony convictions.
For assault on a judge generally the maximum possible prison sentence is 15 years. N.Y. Pen. Law § 70.02. Your classification based on your criminal history will be pivotal when it comes to sentencing. If you have no prior convictions the judge will still be required to sentence you to at least 3 1/2 years in prison because assault in the second degree is also classified as a violent felony. If you are classified as a non-violent predicate offender the court will be required to sentence you to at least 5 years, while if you are classified as a violent predicate offender, you will be sentenced to at least 7 years in prison. If you are a persistent felony offender the sentence will be extremely harsh as the general rule of a maximum of 15 years in prison is disregarded The minimum sentence you will receive is 12-25 years in prison, while the maximum sentence is life in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 70.08Post-release supervision
Your sentence for assault on a judge will include a term of post-release supervision of 2.5 to 5 years in addition to a prison term. N.Y. Pen. Law § 70.45(2)(e). While serving your term of post-release supervision, you will be supervised by the Division of Parole. You will be subject to several rules. These rules include that you will not be permitted to associate with others who have criminal records, go to unlawful places, or use controlled substances. You will be required to have a job or go to school, stick to a curfew, and report to you parole officer regularly. You will have to let you parole officer know if you move and get permission to leave the state. Failure to follow any of the post-release supervision rules could result in a violation which may trigger post-release supervision revocation proceedings. If the court finds that you did indeed violate the conditions of your post-release supervision then you may be sent back to prison.Fines, fees and restitution
Being convicted of assault on a judge can also have substantial financial consequences as you will likely be required to pay a fine, fees and restitution. The fine will be up to $5,000. Furthermore, you will be required to pay a fee called a "mandatory surcharge" of $300 as well as a victim assistance fee of $25. N.Y. Pen. Law § 60.35. Post-release supervision comes with a fee of $30 per month.
Another financial consequence of an assault in the second degree conviction is that you may be ordered to pay restitution to your victim. Generally, the maximum amount of restitution is $15,000. However, the court may increase the amount to more than $15,000 to cover the amount of the victim's medical expenses. Furthermore, you will also have to pay a fee to the company responsible for collecting the restitution from you.
If you do not pay a fine, fee or restitution, you may be charged with a misdemeanors and sent to prison for up to a year, your wages may be garnished or the state of New York may obtain a judgment against you. However, if you cannot pay the judge may adjust the payment terms, lower the amount you must pay, or revoke the part of the sentencing requiring you to pay.Long-term consequences
The consequences of a being convicted of a felony go beyond "paying your dues" with a prison sentence and fine. You will "pay" for this crime for years after you complete your prison sentence, complete your term of post-release supervision and pay fees, fines and restitution. Additional consequences include:
- Criminal record
- Barred from certain professions such as attorney or teacher
- Barred from holding a license to operate a child day care center
- Denied admission to some colleges
- Denied permission to live on campus at some colleges
- Barred from owning a gun
- Lose custody of your children
- Deportation if you are not a U.S. citizen
Being convicted of assaulting a judge carries heavy penalties, a permanent criminal record, and long-lasting personal and professional consequences. For these reasons if you have been arrested and charged with assaulting a judge it is important to immediately contact someone who is familiar with the New York criminal court system. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with misdemeanors and felonies such as assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree, menacing, reckless endangerment, stalking, rape, and child endangerment. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of larceny in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.